General Discussion : Nest Box Substrate

I recently saw a Cornell Lab video of a Kestrel box where the substrate at the bottom of the box was some sort of pebble mix instead of say wood shavings. Is this a better/worse substrate for the eggs or does it work against European Starlings better? I just saw the video and noticed it. 


Nu-Sun Cinema's picture

We have the same question about the substrate. Also looks like this site is only monitored during nesting season. Which then it should be shut down if questions will not be answered during off season.  Have a good day, Nu-Sun Cinema

Sarah Schulwitz's picture

Hi there. We know of no studies that have investigated the differences in nesting outcomes when using wood shavings versus rocks so we can't give you an answer with a lot of research behind it. However, American Kestrels will readily take to natural cavities that have wood shavings (such as an excavated woodpecker cavity) and also we know of American Kestrels that nest on mountain sides or cliffs (such as in the Owyhee mountains on the border of Idaho and Oregon) where the substrate is more rocky/pebble like. Whatever you use in your box, we ask that you include that information when data are uploaded. Many thanks! -Sarah

Posted in General Discussion by drelys 4 years 2 months ago.